Rabbi Menachem Genack, chief executive officer of the Orthodox Union’s Kosher Division, will be honored at the annual gala of the Yeshiva University affiliate Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) on Sunday, March 8 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City. At the ceremonial dinner, Rabbi Genack will be presented the Harav Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchik Aluf Torah Award in recognition for his global influence on Torah Judaism.
Rabbi Genack, who received his rabbinic ordination from RIETS, is also an alumnus of Yeshiva University High School and Yeshiva College. He was a student of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, who deeply influenced his outlook on Torah. As CEO of OU Kosher, he oversees the kosher certification of more than 900,000 products and ingredients in 10,540 facilities in more than 90 countries.
As founder and general editor of OU Press, he has published many volumes on Jewish topics, including his own “Letters to President Clinton: Biblical Lessons on Faith and Leadership,” in which Clinton referred to Rabbi Genack in the foreword as his rabbi. His Washington D.C. connections also include former U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, who is his weekly chavruta (Torah study partner). In 2008, The Forward listed Rabbi Genack as one of the “Forward 50,” the 50 most influential Jews in the U.S. In addition to having served as rabbi of Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Englewood, New Jersey, for nearly 30 years, Rabbi Genack gives a regular chaburah (Torah study group) at RIETS.
Rabbi Menachem Penner, the Max and Marion Grill Dean of RIETS, said, “Rabbi Genack has played a critical role in educating more than a generation of rabbis.
“I am proud to be a former talmid (student) and have wonderful memories of learning Yoreh Deah – the second volume of Rabbi Yosef Karo’s four-part magnum opus in halacha – with him.”